We are sitting at a roadside restaraunt in Kentucky called the Road Kill Kafa. The waitress, a woman named April who is shaped like a snowman, has perched herself on the edge of the table next to ours and has been talking for the past 26 minutes. This is because, just a few minutes before we found ourselves at the Road Kill Kafa, Old Man River decided he wanted to ask Trish to come to the rendez-vous tonight because she was, as he put it, 'Sort of Slender.' Trish worked behind the counter at the mini-mart where we took our apre-river beer run, so we sidled on next door to the Kafa so we could get dinner and Old Man River could ask the waitress what she knew about Trish. "Oh, Trish?" said April casually, craning her neck to see out the window towards the mini-mart. "Yeah, Trish was going to be married 'bout last year, but her brother, he killed the guy she was s'posed to marry." Will and I swivel our heads over to look at Old Man River who is just nodding and smiling and thinking, well, so much for Trish. If you're wondering, I wrote the name Trish 6 times, not including the title and this last sentence, 8 times in total.
We started the day with Will and Old Man River hammering out a dawn patrol run on the newly-risen Watauga, then I fell asleep in the back of the car and woke up in Virginia. Will and I put in on the upper section of the Russell Fork, and I decided for some reason to run the river on my head. It's a lot of fun to try a new river in a new state with Will leading the charge. I glided along upside down through nearly all the rapids, scraped my knuckles on the river bottom and rolled up laughing each time.
Then Will and Old Man River ran the race while I waited down at the take out, sunning in my long underwear while two kentuckians- an adolescent named "Pay-trick" and his grand daddy Blaine ran circles around me in their four wheelers. "Yasuuuuuureurabeyuty!" Blaine hollered at me during one ring-a-round. My thought patterns was: I have no idea what they're saying, deliverance deliverance deliverance deliverance, I have no idea what they're saying, deliverance deliverance deliverance deliverance.
Then they skidded to a stop in front of me just as a spider the size of a toad climbed out from my Astral bella. "HOLY SHIT!" I screamed. "Pay-trickwhydonchago'onan nheilpthalady" said Blaine and then Pay-Trick jumped off the back of the four-wheeler and sqashed the spider which made sort of a pop! sound.
"Yup, we got some biggin's here" he said sagely. Then he stood there and looked at me. "You suuuuure are a beautay!" Said his grandfather, dressed in a man-sized fringed onesie.
"Thanks." I looked toward the river, thinking surely the racers ought to be here by now. "You gotts a boooyfrien?" asked the old man. "Oh yes!" I said, jerking my thumb towards the river. "He's about to show up any minute now, he's running the canyon right now." "Well, he a SEER-I-OUS boyfrien now?" "Serious?? Oh HELL yeah. So, so serious." Oh, Lord. "But are you gonn' MARRY him?"
This went on for a while. I put back on all my kayaking gear and picked up my boat, heading down to the take out where there was a play wave to mess around in. I don't like the idea of kayaking alone but I felt that I had run out of things to say to Pay-Trick and Blaine about the boyfriend I was making up. Pay-trick climbed back on the four-wheeler, clamped his arms around the old man and the two of them sped off shouting, "Well mboy, at Least we got'ta see another pretty one!" and the boy said "Yessirewedid" and then I got into my kayak and into the wave, where I was safe.